Earth Day is April 22nd and it is a perfect time to teach conservation concepts such as Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. I love teaching this to my students and then have them share their knowledge when they teach their buddy class.
My favorite way of starting the lesson is to give the history behind Earth Day. Brainpop has the best video to begin the lesson titled “Rachel Carson”. The video gives the history of the environment in the late 50’s and 60’s, use of DDT, and the book Silent Spring.
Students typically understand recycling efforts, but struggle with reduce and reuse.
Examples for Reducing
- Buy items in bulk with less individual packaging
- Turn off running water- example when brushing teeth, shorter showers
- Use a reusable lunch bag
- Turn off lights and fans when you aren’t in the room
- Plan trips to limit gas
Examples for Reusing
- Donate clothing
- Shopping bags
- Use excess water on the garden
- Reuse water bottles
- Use glass jars to store other items
- Paper for scratch paper
Earth Day Craft
A perfect way for my students to reflect on the lesson is to create this 3D Globe. It is best to have them complete the globe as each concept is taught. Each side of the globe is a different view so I have the assembly instructions on the screen.
After my class creates their craft we visit our buddy class later in the week. We read It’s Earth Day! by Mercer Mayer. Then my students help their buddy make a 3D globe using the primary version. Plan for an hour to complete the project at your buddy class. This works best with 2nd and 3rd grade classes. I hope you enjoy teaching about Earth Day!